Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekending: Influenza

Well, this past week and weekend were perhaps the most interesting of my life, and that is no exaggeration. Starting last Saturday (so over a week ago) Jackson started coming down with something. A visit to the Doctor told us it was teething and him cutting all four molars. So, we laid on the orajel and some Tylenol and hoped the pain would soon pass. The following day, he seemed even worse and started to spike a fever, which really did seem odd. By that evening i decided pretty confidently that I would be staying home from work with him the following day, and that is where it all really started.

By Monday, the poor boy woke up crying, with a terrible fever, congestion, and looking miserable. He literally did not move all day, and I decided to bring him into the doctor again. As we waited to be seen, my sweet boy literally could not lift his head from my shoulder or keep his eyes open. I can say with confidence I have never seen him look so terrible, and it is was scary. Finally, we saw our nurse practitioner who told us he had all of the signs and symptoms of Influenza A. Great. She told us it has been lasting 3-7 days, and we just need to keep him comfortable and hydrated.
Here is what I was NOT prepared for: the duration of this thing. I have always known true influenza is different than the 'stomach flu' that lasts 1-2 days, but having never had influenza or even recalling anyone in my house having it, I was oblivious to its severity. You guys, I literally had to stay home from work the entire week last week, and every minute he was awake, Jax needed to be held, bathed, and consoled. While I love baby cuddles, it was absolutely miserable and heartbreaking to watch. I think the hardest part was that we kept thinking one day he would wake up and just be pretty much better. Nope, not so lucky.

So, as we rolled into this weekend, our little guy was still sick, I was coming off of nothing besides working from home, and it didn't really feel like the weekend! On Friday morning my mom did come over so I could go to my 28 week doctors appointment. Finally I had a highlight of the week when I got the be-mail that I passed my glucose test! Wahoooo! I didn't my first pregnant and had to take the 3 hour test, which was pretty miserable so I was so relieved to see a number that wasn't even close to concerning. The rest of the day was spend cuddling, doing as much work from home as I could manage, and whipping up these babies.

If you like banana bread, you absolutely need to try these. The actual 'banana brownie' is delicious, but the brown butter frosting? To die for! You can thank me later.

Friday night we did watch the first episode of Fuller House! And....I thought it was terrible. I know I know, how dare I! But I'm sorry, if it wasn't a reboot, that should would get the plug pulled after about two minutes. I mean some of the cheesiness I could get with, but I honestly found it kind of painful. The Mary Kate and Ashley moment totally had me laughing though! I'll probably finish watching it when I can find the time, because I am a 90s kid and feel obligated to..but still disappointing.

On Saturday, Jackson woke up miserable again. At this point I felt myself beginning to lose my patience; not with him, but with the darn influenza. When they say 3-7 days, they mean up to 7 days before any sign of improvement, which I totally did not know. Poor guy had the same fever and symptoms Friday that he had Monday, it was just unreal. By some miracle though, Saturday morning we turned a slight corner when he decided to play blocks with his daddy. At that moment, this mama snuck off to the gym for an hour and rocked out a run. I felt so liberated in that one hour that I was honestly holding back tears on the treadmill. Those runs are just good for the soul, especially after a rough week. Once I got home, Jax decided to get moody and threw a tantrum. Who could blame him after a week of feeling like crud? Eventually after nothing would calm him, I strapped the screaming child in the car and drove until he crashed. 

Once he was finally out, he was down for a four hour nap, which daddy joined him for. Look at my sleeping boys. #allthehearteyes
While they slept, I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and just enjoyed feeling semi normal. We had record high temps in MN this weekend, and I decided to sneak away again during naptime, this time for a run outside. In shorts and a tank top. In Minnesota. In February. And that is the reality of our winters here. There are no cooldowns in the forecast really, with more temps in th 50s next week, so no complaining here! Fingers crossed this continues on because we couldn't ask for more perfect conditions to ensure our home construction gets under way as quickly as possible!
Saturday night Jackson rallied a bit, and hung it in our bedroom and watching cartoons. He was super excited to play on our bed, and just to see a smile on his face after a full week of zero smiles was the best.

He even started acting a little naughty by hiding everything he could find in th TV stand. I was so relieved to see him returning to normal, did I stop him? NOPE. 
Sunday we woke up to a little guy still not feeling great, but he was pretty playful shortly after. I snuck off to the gym again, followed by the most needed mental health run to Target of all time. Right now ladies sneakers and flip flops are BOGO half off, so I scooped up these and these, and am super excited about them! They will be great for spring and running around doing errands and playing outside.
Sunday afternoon Jackson took another ridiculously long nap, but woke up without crying!!!! And he ate a mountain of teddy Graham's. Like literally more food in that one snack than he had eaten in the entire five days before. He also finally ate a meal in his high chair, and it was real food. I have never been so happy to see someone eat a chicken nugget, for real.

Sunday night, we lounged on the couch, watched the Walking Dead, and shut the books on a long, long week/weekend. All I can say is, next weekend this mama is getting out of the house with hair and makeup done, and I already can't wait!

For those of you still with me, sorry for the long winded post. It is probably super uninteresting to most, but I think I will appreciate having it document just how bad getting the 'flu' really is! Here's to hoping none of your littles catch it!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Linking up with Meg and Biana today!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bumpdate: 28 Weeks

HELLO THIRD TRIMESTER! I cannot believe I am already saying that! I know another twelve weeks is a long way to go. But then I also think on my first pregnancy and at this point (unbeknownst to me) I was only eight weeks away from having a baby. And when that realization hits me, I panic a bit. Things are really rolling along with our new home and construction, we have meetings and appointments left and right, and I haven't even thought about pulling out any of our old baby things. That bassinet won't unpack itself! I did learn my lesson last time, and will have a bag packed for myself and baby by 34 weeks, because nothing irked me more than a surprise early delivery than being deprived my ability to pack and plan everything to my liking! 12 weeks, you guys, 12 weeks! Also, excuse the lazy chalkboard and looking like I haven't slept all week. Because my toddler has influenza, my chalkboard is lazy, and I literally have not slept all week. 

How far along? 28 weeks
Gender: little baby boy
Total weight gain: big weigh in will reveal the truth this morning, but based on the scale at home, 20-22 pounds, depending on if I decided to eat five pieces of cake for dessert or not.
Maternity clothes? yes, but still quite comfortable in leggings and my London sweaters from Express. I am SO glad I stocked up on a few (I have four!) during their big winter sale this year, because I wear them to work all. the. time.
Stretch marks? nope, still using the baby belly bar every day. This is also motivation to keep the weight gain in check! Rapid weight gain is often where the stretch marks can happen.
Belly button in or out: in
Sleep: terrible this week. My other baby has influenza A, and I have spent my nights watching the precious boy sleep and making sure his temperature stays at an appropriate place. Sick babies are the worst. On top of all that, the pregnancy insomnia is returning, I am pretty sure.
Exercise: I did some workouts last weekend, but this week has been baby snuggles, medicine distribution, and lots of laundry to take care of my sick boy.
Best moment this week: Honestly, none. I have felt on the verge of tears constantly because I am so sad watching my baby be in so much pain. My mom did point out that this is probably one of the few times I will hold both of my babies at the same time and have them both be perfectly content, so that is something to remind myself of!
Miss Anything? Sleep. And I could really go for a sugary cold Mike's Hard Lemonade. Less than 3 months to go!
Movement: So much movement. And all over the place lately, too. The kicks had been really isolated to my right side for about a month, but now I am feeling lots of rolls, jabs, and action all over the place. As long as he stays head down, I'll take it!
Food cravings: Not much this week. Loving the Fiber One brownies I have been having for dessert to help cut down on my sugar intake, though!
Symptoms: Insomnia, otherwise my mind is all over the place this week so I haven't really noticed anything.
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope!
Labor Signs: no!
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: I wouldn't say I have been 'moody' this week, but as I have already mentioned multiple times, it has been a rough week, and I am glad to see it ending!
Looking forward to: 50 degree temperatures and sunshine! Hoping everyone is finally feeling better and we can enjoy spending as much time outside as possible!

Thursday, February 25, 2016


This is a weird Thursday, as it is my first real day in the office this week, and I have most of tomorrow off for some appointments I scheduled long before influenza hit our house. Not complaining, but definitely feels off to start and end the week on the same day! I am once again linking up for some confessions today, so let's dish!

I confess..

I don't think I have ever really had 'influenza' and after watching my baby suffer all week, I definitely don't want it. I have never seen him so miserable, and my mama heart literally almost broke in half a dozen times this week wishing I could trade places with him.

Fiber One Brownies are functioning as my dessert, at least this week. I really don't feel like I am less active or eating more, but I am a few pounds ahead of where I was at when I was 28 weeks with Jax, and the control freak in me doesn't like it. These are seriously perfect for satisfying the chocolate cravings I always have, and also keep me from feeling deprived. And, the hubby is stealing them from me, so you know they are legit.

I prefer being home with a miserable sick baby over being in the office. This week has been rough, but snuggling my sweet boy all day, despite the circumstances, has me feeling VERY excited for my maternity leave.

I love Piko shirts. I ordered two more in the short sleeve style and cannot wait to wear them as we get into warmer temperatures.

The forecast for Saturday is low 50s and sunny and this has my Minneosotan heart so happy I feel like I might burst into tears.

In ordered two pairs of jeans for myself at the Old Navy sale this week. They are non maternity. But after discount one came down to $7. SEVEN DOLLARS. I ordered kultiplensizesbandbthinkni know my body well enough to guesstimate which wise will be best after baby is born. Officially over leggings and yoga pants.

I hate maternity jeans. The bands push up my tank tops and make everything feel bulky. I end up in leggings 90% of the time because I despise being uncomfortable.

I am ridiculously excited to build our new house, and I also never want to build a house again. Talk about stressful, but I know it will all be worth it in the end.

My son will sleep through my husband snoring like a freight train, but if I so much as reposition he immediately wakes up and has a meltdown becaus he thinks I am leaving. Glad he loves me so much, but sometimes a mama just really needs to pee.

I totally eat food off the floor if it means one less thing to clean at the end of meantime. I *usually* check first to make sure it's free of dog hair.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What's Up Wednesday!

Well, this week has been a week so far. Our weekend of beautiful weather we were so looking forward to turned into a weekend of running an upset toddler to the doctor, where we had it pointed out to us that he is cutting all four molars at once. Nice. So, we did a lot of cuddling, forcing (and failing) Tylenol down his throat, and not sleeping. Sunday, we woke up realizing it wasn't just teeth we were dealing with, as we had one sick little boy on our hands. So, this has turned into a week of me staying in and working from home, running back to the doctor for a diagnosis of Influenza A and croup, and many, many snuggles and booger stained shirts. Poor baby. Needless to say, no blogging has happened so far this week, as I have had approximately two minutes where I didn't have a sick baby crying on my chest or a laptop in front of me trying to stay caught up with work. Working mama for the win, am I right!?

In those two minutes of free time, I have managed to get onto Pinterest and the trend has definitely been 'food' this week!
How delicious and easy do these little cupcakes look! I think these would be adorable and fun for a summertime party! Anyone else totally have spring/summer on their mind!?

If you ever check out my Pinterest page, you will find I am obsessed with pastas and comfort foods. I just stumbled across this one earlier this week and am dying to make it. That is a lot of deliciousness in one pot!

I made homemade orange chicken and fried rice last week, and it was a HIT. Let me tell you, in a house that usually has a decent amount of leftovers, there was barely enough for me to salvage as a 'meal' to bring to work the next day. This stuff was good, and also way healthier than the options you are going to find at a typical chinese restaurant. I will definitely make this agian!

I'll be the first one to admit I am a total lover of your store bought tub of frosting, because that stuff is good. But sometimes, a homemade versions just tastes (and feels) more special! I saw this recipe and am thinking I am going to have to try it out. I think it would be perfect on a light, fruity cake as we enter spring and the warmer months!

Mostly dying over these because HELLO funfetti, and also how adorable would these be as an Easter treat!? We don't go too big for any holidays around here, as we are just a lowkey family. Still, something makes a treat so much more special when it changes from simply being a 'dessert' to being festive and matching a holiday. We may be 0% Irish, but that doesn't mean I don't jump at the opportunity to make shamrock cookies and drink shamrock shakes! ;-) It's the little things, and these cookies look like they are on point.

That is it for me this week, as five straight days of a sick baby means no worthwhile outfits to share, no fun outings to brag about, and no delicious homemade meals to talk about. Sometimes, I am ridiculously thankful for short weeks, because I can barely survive them as it is! Happy hump day everyone! ;-)

Linking up with Holly, Jenn, and Jessi today!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

27 Week Bumpdate and Skincare Favorites

I cannot believe I am only one week away from the third trimester! Pregnancy is the craziest thing; it feels like the faster and slowest time of your life, all at once. I sometimes feel like we just found out we are pregnant, but then I am shocked when I realize that was already way back in September. We have so much going on right now, it is honestly easy to forget that a baby is brewing from time to time. Fortunately, his rib jabs are happening frequently and serve as a nice reminder that he will be hanging with us in no time :-) In exciting baby news, his eyes are officially open, and he is becoming very responsive to light and sounds! I hope he is enjoying the scenery in there ;-) 

In addition to my bumpdate, today I am sharing the changes I have made to my skincare routine to adjust to my particularly sensitive skin during this pregnancy. Keep reading below to see my product recommendations!

How far along? 27 weeks
Gender: baby boy!

Total weight gain: Will know officially when I weigh in next week, but my guess is 20 pounds. Eek. Officially cleaned up my diet this week. Cozy winter nights and my love of baking just haven't been the best combo. Still totally on track for healthy weight gain, but still. I know I am growing a human, but I seriously hate watching the scale creep up.

Maternity clothes? Yes, still mostly rocking leggings, sweaters, and tunics. Just gave myself a pep talk and decided to not buy any more clothes to wear for 'pregnancy', because we all know even though they are 'versatile' pieces, I am going to hate them by the time May rolls around. So, I am committing to rotating the same ten or so pieces for the next few months.

Stretch marks? No, using my baby belly bar obsessively!

Belly button in or out: In

Sleep: I think some of the insomnia is kicking in. I remember being up half the night the last few months of my last pregnancy, so add a toddler with bad sleep habits to the mix..I am already mentally kissing sleep goodbye.

Exercise: Yep! Decided this week I am going to start being good and do more than just cardio. I was set yesterday to wake up and do a 10 minute arm workout, but wouldn't you know an adorable little boy was up an at em at 5am and wanted to sit on my lap while I attempted arm we will try again today.

Best moment this week: We got our floor plans for our house!! Things are finally moving, which also is making this pregnancy fly by because we are so busy. May will be here before we know it!

Miss Anything? Jeans. I am debating pulling the trigger on a pair or two to wear once baby is born, I know this is risky because who knows how they will fit, but I am figuring a pair of boyfriend jeans, which are looser in the first place, should be a safe bet?

Movement: Yes, and little man is kicking hard! Still mostly on my right side right below my ribs, but also lots of cervix jabs (TMI? sorry not sorry). I remember those from my last pregnancy, and it literally feels like baby is trying to escape.

Food cravings: Diet coke. Cold, fruity drinks. No other major cravings this week. Trying to tell them to get lost quite honestly and get on a more rigid schedule, not eating whatever sounds good when the moment strikes.

Symptoms: Pelvic pressure (probably because baby is punching near his exit sign). A bit of lower back achiness. A tiny bit of swelling in my fingers. And insomnia is making its way back.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Labor Signs: Nope, those can stay away for at LEAST the next ten weeks!

Wedding rings on or off? On, but wondering if I will be able to keep them on as long as I did my last pregnancy already..

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy this week! :-)

Looking forward to: Continuing to move forward on our new house!!!!!

Week 27 Pregnancy Favorites:

This pregnancy, my skin has had a rough go of it. I mean, red, blotchy, dry, discolored..truly the worst it has ever looked. I am sure the dry winter months haven't helped! In the past week or two, I invested in a few new products and finally saw a turnaround in my skin!

This face wash has been my go-to for years, and I actually tried switching things up and using a more expensively, highly popular product. And my skin got worse. I switched back to this favorite and saw a noticeable difference almost immediately. And it leaves my skin feeling cool and tingly, which is the best!

I also invested in this toner after my sister (the make-up guru of the world) told me it is great for balancing out uneven skin tone. I have seen less redness and blotchiness since investing in this product, and also like that, compared to a lot of other toners or astringents, it feels gentle on my skin, non-drying, and there is no burning.

I have never been a big fan of facial moisturizer. While I know it is important, I think the teenager in me was always nervous about adding extra oil to my already oily skin. And, to be fair, I have definitely used moisturizers that seem to make breakouts worse. This stuff is great though, and once I started using it, I saw the biggest improvement in my skin out of all of the products I have mentioned. My dry patches have almost entirely cleared up, my redness is reduced, and my face feels almost back to normal.

And, because I had to up my game to conceal the blotchiness, I did also test out a few different concealers in the past month. I am NOT a big makeup girl, and hate having a ton on my face, but just couldn't get away going bare with what I have been dealing with lately. Again at the suggestion of my fabulous sister is this product. Available at any store like Target or WalMart, affordable, and provides great coverage without being too heavy. I feel so much more confident in my skin now that I have started covering up a bit more on those rough days, and have this to thank for it.

Finally, I have added this little guy to my regimen. I have accepted the bags under my eyes won't be going away anytime soon, as solid nights of sleep are not anywhere in my foreseeable future. This has been great for brightening my face, doing a bit of contouring, and highlighting where needed. I definitely look 'tired' if I forget this in my regimen!

While this is definitely much more than my old school 'one step' process of face wash, I am also embracing the fact that I no longer have the youthful glow of a 17 year old, and really am seeing the importance of investing a little extra time in your skin care routine. Pregnancy is hard enough at times, and feeling uncomfortable in our skin shouldn't be added to the list of things we have to deal with! I am so glad I have taken a little bit of time to figure out what works best for me and establishing a routine that seems to be working!


I am linking up with Jess again for some weekly Confessions. Does anyone else LOVE this linkup!? Ladies have a lot on their minds, and I am seriously coming to look forward to doing a little 'brain dump' every week.

I confess..

I am lazy lately. Like, really lazy. Maybe this is my subconscious forcing me to enjoy the downtime before life inevitably gets absolutely insane in the next few months. But for real, I am lucky if I get a basket of laundry folded lately..

I really want a bright green shirt for St. Patrick's Day. This gets tricky because I am pregnant, and really don't do anything to celebrate the holiday. But now that I have kids, I am coming to look forward to the little things, even if it is dressing in coordinating colors and drinking Shamrock Shakes. And on that note it should not be this hard to find a solid green shirt!

Totally buying Essie polish in 'boom boom room'. There is a difference between 'hot pink', 'neon pink', and 'barbie pink'. I am looking for barbie pink, and have my fingers crossed that I found it. Who knew a person could be so OCD about finding clothing items in specific colors.

I am also totally lusting after a pair of pale yellow chino pants. And cannot find them. ANYWHERE. I am sure that once spring is really here they will start appearing, but come on designers. I am desperate for spring and a clothing item that I can buy to motivate me to drop the baby weight. Help a girl out.

Putting my toddler to bed over the past week or two is seriously giving me (and the hubs) anxiety. Why the heck does it need to take a full hour to fall asleep? I love him so, but if he is going to take that long to fall asleep, he REALLY needs to learn to do it on his own and be okay with us leaving the room. I miss my husband and that one precious hour of time to watch our shows and relax after the Jax man goes to bed.

Last night I went to McDonalds and asked if they had Shamrock Shakes yet. She said yes, but the ice cream machine was broken so they couldn't be made. My pregnant self said thanks, rolled up my window and drove away. At least I didn't cry.

After not getting my Shamrock shake I came home and was desperate for something fresh and fruity but couldn't find anything, so I chugged half a liter of MUG root beer. At least its caffeine free, right?

I took Jackson to open gymnastics for the first time last night and totally have typical mom goggles on I think, because even though all the little kids there are super cute, my goodness my child is seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen. Biased? Yes. But is he actually exceptionally cute? YES.

We finally got our floor plan last night for our new house and I am so happy/relieved/nervous to keep moving forward after our month or so of hiccups in the road that I could cry.

I am buying baby #2 all of the things in mint. I am obsessed and people are probably going to think he is a girl, because he will be extra minty but I don't care. He will be adorably gender neutral!

With that, happy almost weekend ladies, we almost survived another work week!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Baby #2: Wishlist

As many moms who have already been through the newborn thing can likely attest, what you think you need and what you actually need definitely changes from the first to the second baby. With Jackson, we were starting from scratch on everything, which meant lots of big purchases. This time, we have a crib, swing, bouncer, bumbo, highchair, the list goes on...and we have bought any item that could ever possibly need to be reused in gender neutral tones, so even if we would ever have a girl (if my dear husband can survive two boys..) we will still be set.

With all that being said, there are so many little  products out there that you just don't think about when you are focused on the big things. And some of those little things are lifesavers, truly. Here are some of my must-have items for baby boy #2!

1.  Bamboo swaddle blankets
I recently gifted one of these to a friend for her new baby, and she just told me it is their absolute favorite blanket, and with good reason. All swaddle blankets are soft, but the bamboo swaddle blankets are so ridiculously soft, it makes me want to get one in an adult size. We didn't do much swaddling with Jackson, but I am determined to try as many tricks and gadgets as possible to help this new baby get into better sleeping habits from the start.

2. Wubbanub
Another item my first baby pretty much refused from a very young age was a pacifier. This time, I plan to have one of these loveys to attach for my little guy, hoping it can be a comfort item for him. And really, how precious is that little bunny? I die.

3. Sleepers
We have a LOT of pajamas from Jackson's first year, especially from 6 months on. But my all time favorites that I practically wore out were the Old Navy sleepers. They are so soft, have the cutest patterns, and are good quality. I have already stocked up on a few for baby, and am dying to put them on him already.

4. Dual Video Monitor
We are going to have two under two in our house, and we definitely still use and depend on the monitor for our 'big boy'. The dual monitor has great reviews and allows you to use one item versus try to keep an eye on two babies on two monitors, not to mention having all of those extra cords lying around.

5. Onesies
Again, something I bought a few of before that I wished I had purchased more of are onesies from the Gap. They are so much softer, durable, and high quality than any other brand I have found, and I have definitely stocked up on a few of these precious pocket onesies for little man to rock this summer.

6. Bath towels
I used the same few bath towels to get us through the first year, and truly it wasn't enough. It is great to have big, roomy towels that you can wrap baby in so they stay warm once you take them out of the bathtub. Hooded towels are the absolute best, and are great for keeping that teeny baby head warm!

7. Wipe Warmer
I had a diaper wipe warmer with Jackson, and l.o.v.e.d. it. As he got older, the usage became less and less as the cold wipes were less upsetting to him, and eventually I gifted mine to my sister in law. The reason I was willing to part ways with our beloved warmer is because I saw this one, and knew immediately it was a must have for our next baby. My number one complaint of the standard wipe warmer is that it REALLY dried out the wipes, especially the top ones. This drove me nuts, as sometimes I would pull out a wipe that literally had zero moisture left in it. This spray feature is huge, and I am so excited to purchase and have for this next baby. Again, this is totally one of those little luxuries that you don't know you need until you have it.

8. Jogging Stroller
 I have a single stroller that I have used more times than I can count, and honestly cannot imagine ever not having it. After a lot of research and asking many mom friends of mine, I pulled the trigger on this double stroller. While it is wider making it a bit trickier to maneuver in public places, the ease of pushing and going over different terrains was most important to me. I can't wait to see how this one works and start using it as soon as possible once baby arrives.

9. Blanket
Everyone gifts you blankets and quilts when you have a baby, but for whatever reason I really have liked the sentimental value of selecting the primary blanket for each of my babies. I purchased this one for Jackson and love it to this day, and just bought this one, which is the same style but a different color and design for the new baby. I seriously love these blankets, and am 100% happy that I chose to buy them.

10. Wrap
This is one thing that I never even tried with my first, in part because I had the luxury of sitting on the couch all day snuggling and staring at him. That same little baby is now an energetic and demanding toddler, so I knew a wrap was a must. I received this wrap for Christmas and am in love. I love the neutral colors (again perfect reason for a third, right husband?!), and the fabric is oh, so soft. I have heard rave reviews and babies seem to love it, so I am hopeful that this will allow me to cook dinner with baby in the wrap and a toddler likely clinging to my leg.

Really, most of these items aren't big ticket or what you typically think of as being necessary for a baby, but in my limited experience as a mama, these little items really can make the world of difference. I would love to hear must have items other mama's can't live without!

Linking up with Holly, Jenn, and Jessi today!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday: Pinterest Finds!

Happy Tuesday all! There is something so wonderful about getting beyond Monday and into the week. I am linking up today for some Show and Tell Tuesday with Momfessionals. Today is our favorite Pinterest finds, which is dangerous because this typically results in me getting lost in Pinterest for hours..
Join the linkup to share what some of your Pinterest favorites are!

Ok, I am mostly sharing this one because I think it is super funny this is my first ever pin that has gone 'viral'. Hundreds of repins and closing in on 100,000 views. Not sure what exactly makes a pin go viral, but it makes me laugh! Apparently we all feel the same about lady Friday :-)

The picture above was my Pinterest inspiration. I do blogging for part of my professional job (I know, right?!) and thought this was a perfect 'healthy' activity to do with kids, so I tried it out for myself. Here are my results:

You guys, this was ridiculously easy, I just grabbed a little $3 pack of cookie cutters from the Valentine's section at Target. If you rush over, I am sure there are some on clearance right now! I used red peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, and mangoes, and it was so easy and quick, and I LOVE how cute it all turned out!

There is a ton of home inspiration going on with my Pinterest lately, but we are going to be beginning construction on our house in *hopefully* the next two months, so can you blame me!? I am loving dark kitchens with lighter countertops, but we will see. Slightly modified versions of basically this exact same kitchen style have been pinned by me many times.

More home inspiration. How perfect is this broom closet disguised in the kitchen!? One thing my mom told me was that you don't even think to put this type of closet in most of the time, but it is incredible to have. I love how neat and tidy this one is, especially with the little hooks!

 Link is no longer active
When I was pregnant with Jackson, I was on the hunt for a 'nautical nursery' set, and when I saw this picture I about died. I knew I had to have it. It was from Pottery Barn, but happened to be on mega clearance when I looked. I literally grabbed the last quilt and crib skirt, it was sold out minutes after I placed my order. To this day I am in love with his nursery, and have this picture to thank as my inspiration. Here is the real deal in our old house:

Baby items are making their way back onto my Pinterest, including this purple onesie. Seriously, could it BE MORE ADORABLE!? While I would be lying if I said I would never like to dress a little girl, I really have been amazed by how much I absolutely love dressing little boys. Maybe it is because I go out of my way to avoid the 'typical' little boy clothing, but I die over half of my little guys' outfits as much as I would over a pink tutu!

I recently purchased a doughnut pan, and ever since I have been on the hunt for fabulous recipes that are a bit easier on the calories compared to deep fried or store bought versions. Pretty glazed doughnuts are all over my page, and I want to eat them all.
Here is my first homemade attempt at doughnuts:
 The actual doughnut part turned out great, but the glaze was less than impressive, which is why I now have about ten different glaze recipes pinned! A good glaze really is what will make or break a doughnut, so I am definitely on the hunt for a winner!

After repeatedly thinking it, I have finally decided to give homemade fried rice a try, and I am sooo excited. This recipe looks super easy, quick, and doesn't have any of the extras in it (read: huge chunks of onion) that often gross me out in some restaurant versions!

Now that Valentine's Day has come and gone, I am already thinking about my next excuse to make festive cookies, aka St. Patrick's Day. While I love my traditional sugar cookie cutouts, these lofthouse cookies have me drooling, and I wouldn't be terribly disappointed to frost circles instead of clovers ;-) Don't they just look melt in your mouth delicious!? This past weekend, I did go for my traditional cutouts with the cutout recipe that is linked, and they turned out PERFECT. I have had my fair share of not so good sugar cookie dough, and I can honestly say I did not have one burned or broken cookie in entire batch of 5 dozen. Bookmark this recipe ladies, it is a keeper.
I can't wait to see what everyone else has going on with their pinning lately!

Weekending: Valentine's Day

And just like that, it is Monday again. This weekend flew by extra fast, as I actually worked a full day on Friday, which doesn't happen very often. That extra day, or even half day off, really makes a difference in feeling like you had a long, relaxing weekend! As seems to be the case on these cold, wet winter days, our weekend was pretty low key, but good nonetheless!
Friday, after I got off of work, I headed home and my father in law was frying fish. And so begins Friday dinners for the Lenten season ;-) After eating way more than I needed, we really just threw on our pajamas, lazed on the couch, and watched TV. Jackson has become a fan of crawling onto the couch and sitting in a spot all by himself. We have caught him watching TV like this on numerous occasions in the past week or two. What a little old man.
Saturday morning, we were all up bright and early and I was at the gym around 7am. Crawling out of bed is never easy, especially when it is 18 degrees below zero, but it was so nice to enjoy the quiet of the gym and be done with a workout before we even had breakfast! Once I got home, we all got ready, dropped Jackson off at my sister in laws, and Mike and I headed to town to do some bed shopping for Jackson! He is such a terrible sleeper, and likes us to lay next to him, which is obviously a terrible habit, but it is even worse when you are trying to do it in a crib with a guard rail! We walked away empty handed, because we really just can't decide what the best move is. Since we will be moving to the new house this summer, we can't decide if it is worth taking down a crib, setting up a new bed, and then determining how long he will actually be in a twin bed before likely getting our queen size bed handed down to him (because mama is getting a king bed once we move, no questions!) Any advice on how to do a smooth transition and what works best?
After we got home, Jackson went down for a nap and I set out to making my annual heart shaped sugar cookies. I made these two years ago to announce we were expecting, and since then just love doing it. I have had some wonky dough recipes, but these seriously turned out perfect, and I will definitely be using this as my default recipe for future sugar cookies!

In keeping with tradition, I had to snap a picture of my little man eating a cookie. Look at this picture from this year, and then last year...the cookie looks half as big next to him as it does in the old picture, which reminds me just how big he is growing. Cue the mama tears.
On Saturday night, we had Subway to go for dinner, watched Wallykazam, and went to bed. Jackson has been fighting us terribly with going to bed lately. I am thinking because it has been cold and we have been cooped up, he just isn't burning off the energy he needs to. Warmer temps this week, so grandma is under instructions to let him run around outside as long as possible so I don't have to spend an entire hour trying to get him to fall asleep!
Sunday morning, we failed at getting to church,  yet again. Why is it so hard to go in the winter? I keep telling myself as it starts warming up and the idea of going outside isn't so painful, it will be easier to get out the door. And now to sound like a hypocrite, I realized I had $40 of Kohl's cash to spend by the beginning of this week, so the little guy and I ran into town, picked up all the onesies we should need to get little brother through the summer, plus a few pairs of shorts for Jackson. And I walked away paying $8.50 out of pocket. I'll take it! We hit up Target, too, where I scooped up the most darling fedora hat for Jackson in the dollar spot. It was marked as $3, but only rang up as $1! You guys, a one dollar fedora. Best purchase ever. I cannot wait to deck him out again for Easter again this year. And, in keeping with the V-Day spirit, little man rocked his red jeans and love shirt.
Sunday night, I told Mike all I wanted for Valentine's Day was takeout pizza, on the couch while watching the Walking Dead, and an ice cream cake. Usually I am perfectly happy to share the table with my in-laws, but there really is something to be said about being cozy on the couch and eating pizza right out of the box. Of course, Jackson spent the entire time trying to grab the pizza, and the pop, and our glasses with pop in them. Stinker. I tried putting him to bed a little early in hopes that he would be down before the new season started, but of course that was no bueno. So, at 8pm he got to come back out in the living room while we watched the Walking Dead. And proceeded to run around making noise the entire time, pressing buttons on controllers, and giving me one more dirty diaper before calling it a night. Next fall for the new season premier, I am seriously sending my kids to a sitter. It's like they know you want one hour of peace to watch a show, and that is the night they decide to be mosters! All I can say is, at least he is cute. 
And, in true Michael fashion, my ice cream cake request was filled, with the most perfect Valentine's Day message from the man who is self-proclaimed anti-Valentine's Day. He did lie to me about needing to run an errand and called to tell me he had made a special trip to get the cake though. This little cake right here made this mama a happy lady.
And, to top off a night of terrible sleep with a non-compliant toddler in our bed, I went to start my car this morning to this sitting on my driver's seat. It's the little things, guys.
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Linking up with Meg and Biana today!
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